The most wanted fugitive in the Rwandan genocide of 1994 has been arrested in Paarl, South Africa after decades on the run.
Fulgence Kayishema is accused of orchestrating the killing of more than 2,000 Tutsi refugees – women, men, children and the elderly – at Nyange Catholic Church during the genocide. He has been on the run since 2001.
He was captured Wednesday in a joint operation between the South African authorities and UN investigators.
When he was arrested, Kayishema initially denied his identity, according to a statement from the UN team. But by the end of the evening he told them: “I have been waiting a long time to be arrested.”
Investigators said he used multiple identities and forged documents to evade detection.
“The arrest was the culmination of an intense, thorough and rigorous investigation,” a senior official at the prosecutor’s office involved in the case told CNN.
At the end of the genocide in July 1994, Kayishema fled to the Democratic Republic of Congo with his wife, children and brother-in-law. After relocating to other African countries, he moved to South Africa in 1999 and claimed asylum in Cape Town, using a false name.
According to prosecutors, since his arrival in South Africa he was able to rely on a tight support network including former Rwandan military members which went to extreme lengths to conceal his activities and whereabouts.